Blog Archives

Edition 25: Book Review: War God Rising by Tim Marquitz

flag US

 Reviewed by Damien Smith


Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 10.47.28 PM

Once I’d happened upon a book billed as “Monty Python meets Gladiator”, purporting to combine my loves of absurd humour and gratuitous sword-and-sorcery violence, there was no way I was returning to my ever-teetering To Read pile without first giving War God Rising a go.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 25: Book Review: Everything is Fine by Grant Stone

flag US

 Reviewed by Lee Murray


Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 11.57.12 PM

I’ve edited some of Grant Stone’s work, appeared with him in a few anthologies, and seen him pick up a couple of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards for science fiction and fantasy writing. So, when I saw he’d released this collection of stories and poems, I one-clicked immediately. Any book of Grant Stone’s is going to be a treat and Everything is Fine, a collection pulling together some of his best work, doesn’t disappoint.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 24: Book Review: Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carrier

flag US

 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


manners and mutiny cover

Since my review of the first in Gail Carriger’s Finishing School series back in Edition 8 of SQ Mag, I’ve loyally followed the misadventures of Sophronia Temminick aboard an airship finishing/espionage school. Our young heroine has learned quite a bit of deadly, yet mannerly knowledge since books two and three. She’s experienced both success and failure in trying to stop the nefarious deeds of various enemies. Now we come to the end, in a fourth book that wraps up the story quite nicely with exploding pastries, werewolves, and Picklemen. Oh my. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 24: Book Review: X’s For Eyes by Laird Barron

flag US

 Reviewed by Damien Smith


xs for eyes cover

Regular readers of cosmic horror will likely be familiar with Laird Barron. Before I tackled X’s For Eyes, however, I was entirely unfamiliar with his works, having picked up this novella on the back of a recommendation on Facebook. There’s a lesson here that can’t be driven home often enough-if you like a book or an author, give them a plug. The minor signal boost is invaluable for anyone who’s not J.K.Rowling or Stephen King, and it really works.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 23: Book Review: The Ghost of Matter by Octavia Cade

flag US

 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


ghost-of-matter_cover_med

When The Ghost of Matter popped up in my social media feed,  shared by New Zealand writer friends as one of the soon to be released Paper Road Press Shortcuts series, both the title and the hauntingly stark cover intrigued me.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 23: Book Review: Little Girls by Ronald Malfi

flag US

 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


cover little girls

Like most of us, during the month of October, I enjoy spooky stories, movies, and TV programs. I like to feel the goosebumps, to keep looking over my shoulder at every little noise, to be afraid to turn off the light when I’m reading in bed. So this month, I chose a novel that was recommended in a Top 10 list on Best Horror Movies.com. Their listing described the book as “completely terrifying.” I’m sorry to say that the description did not hold true for me.

Little Girls is a modern story about a woman (Laurie) who travels to a rural town to oversee the sale of her recently deceased (and estranged) father’s estate. Her husband and daughter accompany her as well. As the story progresses, we learn that Laurie did not have a close relationship to her father, and left with her mother at a young age. We also learn about a childhood “friend” named Sadie, who wasn’t a friend at all, but tormented Laurie in very disturbing ways. Sadie died a tragic death on the property as a child , and as Laurie goes through the motions of tying up her father’s business, long-buried memories resurface about Sadie. Read the rest of this entry

Edition 23: Book & Film Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

flag US

 Reviewed by Damien Smith


Cover The Martian

I have been a little late to the party with The Martian. Andy Weir’s novel has been gaining steam for a good year or so, but by the time I finally managed to perch a copy on top of the To Read pile, we were only a month away from the movie release. So this issue I thought, why not look at both? I’ll gloss over much of the detail beyond the basics (guy stuck on Mars, does science, takes a long journey, gets rescued) because I really think you should read AND see this for yourself.

So here’s The Martian vs The Martian, a comparative review.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 22: Book Review: She Walks in Shadows (eds. Moreno-Garcia and Stiles)

flag US

 Reviewed by Sophie Yorkston


she walks in shadows cover

There’s an outdated perception that women, either as characters or writers in the Lovecraftian realms, don’t belong. She Walks in Shadows comes off the back of a quite successful Indiegogo campaign, suggesting that the reading public are looking for this myth to be dispelled.

Editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles of Innsmouth Free Press looked at the disparity in this well-loved section of speculative fiction and put together a list of authors with ties to Lovecraftian mythos from all over the globe, and a significant inclusion of writers of colour.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 22: Book Review: Zer0es by Chuck Wendig

flag US

 Reviewed by Damien Smith


zeroes cover

I’ve just finished reading an awesome movie. At least that’s what it felt like. Zer0es is the latest in the growing bibliography spawned by Chuck Wendig, and for every fan of cyberpunk, well worth the effort. Throughout the book I found myself harking back to various TV shows and movies rather than other novels, which lead me to the conclusion that this should absolutely join the ranks of cinematics.

Read the rest of this entry

Edition 22: Book Review: The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath: From the Peculiar Adventures of John Lovehart, Esq.

flag US

 Reviewed by Mysti Parker


Mirror and Goliath cover

I’m always on the search for a unique speculative fiction experience that I can introduce SQ Mag readers to. This time round I discovered The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq. series by author Ishbelle Bee. Indeed, The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath proved to be written in a different way to anything else I’ve read. While experimentation can be good, in this case, it didn’t always work in favor of the story.

Read the rest of this entry